The coffee evangelists at Aunty Peg’s in Collingwood are on a mission to convert you at their slick new café, retail and roasting space, with not a splash of milk in sight
Latte lovers, avert your eyes. Even macchiato fans won’t have their milk needs met at Aunty Peg’s. But for those who know their Chemex from their V60, this Collingwood newcomer will hit you in the sweet spot.
Backed by the serious coffee cred of Nolan Hirte, this pared-back café is an adjunct to Proud Mary’s shiny new roasting house, set in a slick warehouse on Wellington Street. It’s a vast, slightly daunting space, with double-height ceilings and expanses of polished concrete that ratchet up the racket from the roasting machines.
At the entrance, a towering shelf is stacked with coffee kit for at-home enthusiasts: you’ve got your AeroPress and Clever Dripper filters, kettles, beans and grinders, plus leather saddle bags and trucker caps for the bean-loving hipster in your life.
In the centre of the room, a sweep of concrete and blonde wood is laid out like a bar, complete with beer taps, stools and glassware most often reserved for booze. From those shiny taps, the barista pours a nitrogen-charged cold brew, an aerated, caramel-coloured draft that settles in the schooner glass like a Guinness. This particular batch was crafted using top-shelf Panama Geisha beans, and the gentle extraction method highlights deep notes of stone fruit and a lick of chocolate, bound with a hint of background bitterness.
Also arranged on the counter are a clutch of Synesso espresso handles, plus sparkling Chemex and V60 filters. Against the wall lies a sentry of grinders, where the day’s beans are weighed and ground to order. There might be a Nicaragua Ojo de Agua, Honduras La Huerta or Panama Santa Teresa Estribi Honey Geisha up for grabs, accompanied by details on the producers and snappy tasting notes.
Our Nicaraguan filter, carefully funnelled through a V60 and served in a stemless wine glass, is bright and lush, bearing apricot fruit, front-palate sweetness and a taut line of lemon-lime acidity.
In the one concession to non-coffee drinkers, the second beer tap bears an iced oolong tea, perfumed with dried rose buds, that’s both refreshing and refined.
The whole set-up could be a tad confronting for those who usually order a skinny latte on the go, but the crew behind the counter are keen to put you at ease, talking you through the bean options and extraction methods.
Prices, too, are a tad more than you might expect to pay at your local café, with espressos kicking off at $4.30, those cold brews coming it at $7 for coffee and $5.50 for tea, and filtered options maxing out at $10.
In keeping with the tight line-up, snacks are limited to pretty cakes from Gad Assayag, who was poached from Green Park Diner. He’ll be moving into a custom-built bakery upstairs in the coming weeks, when breads and other savoury goods might make an appearance. In the meantime, order naughty-good salted caramel doughnuts, a stupendously rich choc-raspberry torte or palm-sized brownies to go with your ground-breaking brew.
|Venue name:||Aunty Peg's|
200 Wellington St
|Opening hours:||Daily 9am-5pm|
|Transport:||Nearby stations: Collingwood; Victoria Park|